Q&A: Wine & Food Questions
definition of name
What exactly does it mean to call something a \"proprietary wine\"? Does it mean anything to different to call it a \"proprietary blend\"?
Answer From Expert Roger C. Bohmrich, MW
"Proprietary" is anything which is, in principle, unique or exclusive to the owner or user. You could say that the brand name itself is proprietary, but in the wine business the term usually applies to a secondary designation or fanciful name of some sort (but not a vineyard name). Examples include Concha Y Toro "Don Melchor", Barbi "Brusco dei Barbi", D'Arenberg "The Dead Arm", or Drouhin "Vero". Such names also tend to be protected by trademark like the brand name.
I suppose you could also call any unique blend of grapes or vineyards a "proprietary blend", and there are wineries who use that phrase. In fact, there are thousands of unique blends in the wine world if we consider the possible variations of grape varieties, percentages used in the blend, and vineyard sourcing.
About The Expert
Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with Europe's leader in direct sales of fine wines to consumers. Previously, he served as senior executive of Frederick Wildman & Sons, traveling regularly around the world to visit wineries and taste the new vintage from barrel. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.